Ten Reasons You Should NOT Give Your Boss a Gift

I wrote a blog several weeks ago in which I mentioned that it might be a bad idea to give the boss a gift on boss’ day.  I have been amazed at the comments and interviews that I have received since.  The response has been more than anything I have written lately.  So I decided that in light of the approaching holidays, I might write a “Top Ten List,” a la David Letterman. Here are my top ten reasons “why you should NOT give your boss a gift:

10.  If you do it because others do it, you are doing it for the wrong reason and you will probably resent it

9.  If the boss expects it, s/he is a bad boss to begin with and a gift may act as a positive reinforcer for bad boss behavior

8.  If a gift affects the boss’ behavior toward you, it is not a healthy work situation for you or the boss

7.  It puts pressure on the boss to reciprocate and it is not a good idea to put pressure on the boss

6.  It gets expensive for the boss if there are a number of direct or indirect reports who need reciprocating

5.  It is the economy, stupid

4.  It may cause the boss to question your motive

3.  It is a good time to break this bad habit

2.  A card with a hand written note is probably more meaningful – and it is a better, more appropriate habit

1.  The boss doesn’t need it – give it to someone who does

In addition to writing your boss a note, here are some more suggestions of how to recognize and positively reinforce your boss in a meaningful way all year round. This post originally appeared on Aubrey's blog December 16, 2009. 

Posted by Aubrey Daniels, Ph.D.

Aubrey is a thought leader and expert on management, leadership, safety and workplace issues. For the past 40 years, he has been dedicated to helping people and organizations apply the laws of human behavior to optimize performance.